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tips for making easy to remember rules

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CIDIC
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I kinda stumbles over this tip accidentally. i have a friend that is working on a "street violence/gangwarfare type game" he uses d6 with models that have stats that you must roll equal to or lower on to succed sertain tests. he did NOT want to have any +1/-1 modifyers in his game. so the used the re roll mechanic. if you shoot at a target you need to roll 3 or less on your shots to hit them (if your shooting skill is 3) if your target is running or in cover then you have to re-roll our successes. after alot of develpment many many different things alow you to reroll dice for different things and for better or for worse. while re-rolling may be easyer to remember than modifiers, he has i think 4 or 5 things you may have to re roll for. well the game is still in playtesting and development and some other probabilities need to be made higher or lower in sertain situations e.g. cover. but i realized that at this point adding more re-rolls would make it harder to remember. thats when i realized that different mechanics (organized logically) can make rules easyer to remember. i suggested adding 1 situational modifyer, just 1. you would be able to remember it for 2 main reasons, it is the ONLY modifier in the game, and it is different that the re-roll mechanic you are used to doing in most other situations. so i'm helping him explore using maybe 3 or 4 different probability altering mechanics, and the logical application of them. I recall playing some games that tryed to do this but the mechanics didn't seem logically applyed, it was easy to remember that cover gave you an advantage but because their didn't seem to be any pattern to the application of the mechanincs is was hard to remember if it gave you a +1 or a reroll. does anyone else have any comments to add to this or other tips for making gamerules easy to remember and eliminate charts.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
tips for making easy to remember rules

I also had the same problem with my war game. Here is some methods I have used.

Standardise the numbers : For example, in my game, all vehicle have a movement of 5 and all infantry has a movement of 3. This way, you can easily remember these values without refering to charts.

Visual reminder. I had a problem to remember modifiers for terrain and combined attack. The probabilities where working OK, so I really wanted to use theses modifiers. The first thing I used is a dice that you roll which indicate the modifier you get for the battle. (it`s written -1 or -2 on the die) this way, you see it after rolling your dices.

I also used some tokens with a -1, -2, -3 or -4. Before the combat roll, I calculate all the modifiers and place the correct token modifier on the table. Then I roll the dice above the token to make sure I don't forget it.

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
tips for making easy to remember rules

Larienna hits the hammer on the nail. Standardising the numbers, and having visual reminders are probably the two most important things to streamline the rules for a game.

I'd probably amend "standardising the numbers" to "standardising everything". Make everything the same, as much as possible, with no, or very few exceptions. Exceptions are really the bane of streamlining. If you can't get around having exceptions, add a chart that summarizes those exceptions (a visual reminder of sorts).

Another thing that helps is having rules that make thematic sense. You can get away with a few exceptions, if they make thematic sense. Rules that make no thematic sense can be surprisingly hard to remember for players.

CIDIC
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Joined: 12/31/1969
tips for making easy to remember rules

yea i understand that pretty clearly, in warhammer 40k (witch i really only watch people play now) no one can ever remember these rules: if half the squad is in cover does the squad get a cover save? (answer: if the majority is in cover then yes). the squad also has an armor save equal to the majority armor of the squad. but when moving out of rough terrain, if any part of the team is in rough terrain (not the majority) then you still have to roll to see how much it slows you down. the fact that these 'majority' rules aren't consisten makes you stop and wonder wich one it is that works differently than all the rest and makes you look it up any time you do any of these things.

I personally find it hard to remember rules for this game because they often make NO sense at all. so anytime a come into a situation im unsure of. i come to a screeching hault, bc i can't go with mechanics that are common in the game and what makes sense, bc most of the rules don't make sense.

Hedge-o-Matic
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Joined: 07/30/2008
tips for making easy to remember rules

See this thread for rules-writing and presentation techniques. It's related in many ways.

http://www.bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=3200

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